Abuse survivors, Domestic Violence Awareness, domestic violence survivors, healing after abuse, healing after betrayal, how do we love, how to accept love, overcoming abuse, overcoming betrayal, what is love
Love is complicated.
My favorite bible verse (often read at weddings…I know I’ve read it a few times in a few weddings) is:
I particularly like this version that reads ‘Love does not insist on its own way’ because, to me, it brings a ‘real life’ feel to living this verse.
You see, love hurts because it is worth the effort. Love heals when it is allowed to flourish in hope. Love is complicated when it is put to the test of endurance.
If I’m to be truthful the most common interpretation of this verse, rather the most complete interpretation, is more difficult because it requires each of us to act in the image we were created – the LOVE of God:
If we are to LOVE like GOD loves us then we are called to be patient, kind, humble and not too proud. We are not to be rude or self-seeking (or self-serving). Sometimes love seems unfair and instead of throwing love away because it feels one sided or not enough we are then called to not be quick to be anger (we are to give one another the benefit of the doubt … or communicate the hurt). And when hurt by the one we love we shouldn’t keep a record of wrongs with the comments such as ‘you always’ or ‘you never’. And if the one you loved has been caught by the enemy in sin we should want to help them out of the sin rather than rejoice in their failure and shame. Love encourages truth. It protects and encourages safety. Love trusts. Love hopes. And love perseveres even in the toughest of times.
I’ve realized something about myself recently and that is I am not sure I have ever known (or shall I say accepted) love that didn’t come with conditions. I hear so many say ‘I want an unconditional love.’ Or I’m led to seek God’s ‘unconditional love’ and yet I realized, most likely first from the abuse incurred at such a young and impressionable age, that to receive love I had to first give something. Or if I didn’t give love in a certain way that pleased the one I loved then the repercussions (whether spoken or unspoken) left me feeling worthless and unlovable.
For me love was innately conditioned (regardless if the ones I loved were truly expecting expectations…I put them on myself regardless and then created resentment and a deeper seeded feeling of worthlessness.)
Love does not insist on its own way… and that includes me creating it into something its not or allowing any one else to do the same.
You are loved by an infallible God who created you in love and wants nothing for you but to give and receive the same love. Rest today in this truth. Love never fails.